7 Characteristics Entrepreneurs All Have In Common

People tend to think that successful entrepreneurs and business moguls were all well organized, A+ students in high school and college who never made any mistakes and who were born with a natural intelligence and ‘workaholic’ mind frame that allowed them to become so successful. While being intelligent and having the ability to be focused and organized does help, what makes an entrepreneur is not what grades you got in school, or how organized you are, or even how “intelligent” you are. The fact is that entrepreneurs come from all walks of life, encompassing every personality type and age group imaginable. So what is it that separates the successful entrepreneur from the average Joe?

A research study titled, “The Big Five Personality Dimensions and Entrepreneurial Status,” which consisted of 23 combined studies, concluded that entrepreneurs all have seven similar characteristics in common. The same study found that entrepreneurs also have different personality types than those people working in corporate management. Entrepreneurs tend to be more open and conscientious, and are more willing to take risks and learn new things. This makes them more likely than the organized A-student to step outside of their comfort zones and take a chance at an original idea. Here are the seven characteristics all entrepreneurs have in common that allow them to break free of the daily routine and find success in their endeavors.

1. Fearlessness

Perhaps the most important characteristic an entrepreneur can have is being free of fear. Being able to tolerate uncertainty is what being an entrepreneur is all about. While many look at a situation from the perspective of, “How do I get through this,” entrepreneurs look at the same situation as an opportunity. If you can successfully manage your fear (fear of paying your bills, providing food for your family, of having next to no income at all), then you can take the first step to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

2. Vision

No one ever became a successful entrepreneur without the ability to see envision a new reality. Entrepreneurs employ curiosity and innovation to come up with new products, services, and concepts, and build on those ideas to create successful businesses that challenge conventional wisdom and revolutionize our way of life. Having vision is all about imagination and optimism; if you say, “It can’t be done,” then I guess that means it can’t be done.

3. Confidence

Being confident in yourself and in your product is a crucial characteristic of successful entrepreneurs. Without the belief that your product can really change peoples’ lives for the better, or that you have something that the world could really use, how can you expect to find the determination needed to transform your vision or idea into a successful business or concept. There will be plenty of cynics to deal with on your road to success; what will separate you from them are your attitude and your willingness to take risks.

4. Passion

Having a vision and being confident are definitely important traits to have in order to be a successful entrepreneur, but without passion for your work and what you do, how can you ever expect to make your vision a reality? The road to success is filled with obstacles, failures, and uncertainties, but if you are passionate about your product or service, then there is no stopping you from reaching your dream. Passion allows you to fully dedicate yourself to something, so if you don’t feel passionate about what you are doing, chances are you won’t feel the urgency or the need to see it through to the end.

5. Perseverance

Starting and building a business, or creating something entirely new from nothing more than your own imagination and passion can take a lot out of you. There will be feelings of doubt and uncertainty, late nights worrying, strained relationships, and an ensemble of other factors that will make you want to just give up on more than one occasion. Successful entrepreneurs, however, utilize their passion and their confidence to persevere through all of the turmoil and see their work through to the end. It won’t be easy, but if you stick to your goal and refuse to give up, you can accomplish anything.

6. Flexibility

Creating something and making it exactly the way you want it is something that seldom happens in the world of modern business. Just as writers, musicians, and filmmakers have to relinquish some degree of creative control before major studios will give them a contract, the world of business and entrepreneurship is filled with compromise and negotiation. Entrepreneurs must be able to demonstrate a degree of flexibility that will allow them stay true to their vision while providing them with the means to see their vision through. For example, The Beatles had to wear suits and sing covers like Money and Roll Over Beethoven before anyone would even think to let them grow out their hair and do Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.

7. Unconventional

Along with being flexible, entrepreneurs must also be willing to break the rules from time to time. Going along with conventional wisdom and traditional practices might help you gain some much needed recognition in the business world, but your willingness to swim against the current is what will make you stand out from your peers. Not saying you should deliberately break any laws here, but if Jesus hadn’t gone against the conventional “wisdom” of the time we wouldn’t have Christianity, and if Rosa Parks had just gone along with the conventional “wisdom” of her time, who’s to say where we would be today?